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Chancellor's Communique

Announcing new dean of Colorado School of Public Health, 7-11-17


Dear colleagues,

I’m pleased to announce a new dean for the Colorado School of Public Health. Jonathan Samet, MD, MS, has agreed to accept the position, and will assume his duties in mid-October.

Since its establishment just nine years ago, the ColoradoSPH – a partnership of CU Anschutz, Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado – has made remarkable strides toward becoming one of the country’s premier institutions of public health. As its third dean, Dr. Samet, who brings the experience of a long and distinguished career in academic medicine and public health, is uniquely qualified to take the ColoradoSPH to new heights. 

Currently serving as distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, Dr. Samet also directs both the USC Institute for Global Health and the Workforce Development and KL2 Program of the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Previously, he chaired the department of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and served as clinical division chief for Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of New Mexico.

In each of these positions, Dr. Samet has fostered and mentored faculty members, created new lines of research, initiated curricular advances and maintained fiscal stability. He has taught at all levels – from undergraduate to postdoctoral – and advised master’s and doctoral students. Aside from teaching, he has conducted a wide array of research on health issues, and has significant experience translating research findings into action, including in the areas of tobacco control, air quality regulations, and underground uranium mining.

Dr. Samet is past-president of the American College of Epidemiology and the Society for Epidemiologic Research. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (originally established as the Institute of Medicine in the National Academy of Sciences), one of the highest honors in medicine. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, an MD from the University of Rochester, and a master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health.

We are fortunate to have someone as accomplished and versatile as Dr. Samet taking the helm of the Colorado School of Public Health at this critical juncture in its growth. I am grateful to Elaine Morrato, DrPH, MPH, who as interim dean since December has helped the school continue to build on its momentum while ensuring we are set up for a smooth handoff to new leadership. Dr. Morrato will remain as interim dean until October, after which she will continue in her position as Associate Dean for Public Health Practice.

Please join me in thanking Elaine Morrato and welcoming Jon Samet, as we continue to promote the physical, mental, social and environmental health of people and communities in Colorado and around the world. 

Best, 

Don Elliman

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